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Le Quartier d’Aligre: A Foodie Haven Near Bustling Bastille

Erin Dahl shares her favorite addresses in Paris' Quartier d'Aligre on HiP Paris.

Blé Sucré, Erin Dahl

The Quartier d’Aligre is one of my favorite pockets of Paris, and one I am lucky enough to call home. Located just southeast of Bastille, the area has a little bit of everything: bustling shops on rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine (including a Marks & Spencer and sizeable Monoprix) and easy metro access, but also calm streets and a true neighborhood feel. I even brought my caviste a portion of blanquette de veau a few weeks back. The beloved Marché d’Aligre, a bustling daily market located on/around the Place d’Aligre, is only the start. Here are some of my other favorite addresses:

Erin Dahl shares her favorite addresses in Paris' Quartier d'Aligre on HiP Paris.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Une Vie Parisienne in New York City

Paris (Oncle Tom)

Returning home to New York hit me with the biggest culture shock I’ve ever felt. Now, I’m no stranger to culture shock. My first notable quake occurred when I moved to Paris at the age of 18 with just a handful of French words at my disposal (croissant, café, cigarette…).

Paris (Lost In Cheeseland) & (Making Magique)

The move hit pretty high on the Richter scale, but eventually I assimilated as best I could, and my American friends who came to visit told me I seemed “French.” (For the record, the French always said I seemed “Swedish.”) Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living | 20 Comments »

New York or Paris: Une Bonne Question

Amy Thomas, the sweets queen behind the God I Love Paris blog and one of our very favorite contributors, can’t seem to decide whether she prefers Paris or New York. Hard life? But really, we can’t blame her… because  we can’t choose either. What do you think? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

New York or Paris? (Kat . . .)

Quick: do you prefer hopping in a taxi or on a Velib? Would you rather wear Manolos or Repettos? Oversized sunglasses, or an oversized scarf?

These are difficult questions. Ones that I’ve personally been trying to answer for a year and a half as I’ve also tried cracking the bigger dilemma: Which is the better city in which to live? I know, cue the teeny-tiny pity violins. Whenever I lament feeling torn between New York and Paris, I get the “poor you” rolling of the eyes. But truly, it’s not easy choosing between the two best cities in the world. Let’s see you do it.

Beauty or Energy?

Notre Dame in Paris or Snow in Manhattan? (Karigee)

Paris is dazzling. All you need to do is watch a Godard film or see a Doisneau poster to know that. But to actually walk the streets—with the Plane trees and cobblestones; the rose-tinted street lamps, green bookstalls and golden limestone facades—well, the French know a little something about seduction, don’t they.

But in New York, you’re swept away by everything and everyone around you: pedestrians, taxis, buses, street vendors, blinking neon signs, little dogs, big dogs, and, oh the freaks everywhere! To walk the streets of New York is to know what it means to feel alive. Continue Reading »

Posted in Parisian Living, Travel | 34 Comments »

Life in Italy vs. Life in France: Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, Erica Berman shared her most telling anecdotes about the difference between life in France and life in Italy. While most of us can only envy the lifestyle that makes intimate knowledge of those details a part of daily life, Erica’s insight into the particularities of French and Italian culture helps us live the dream. In part two, she moves beyond general life to get to the juicy stuff : how the natives operate.

Vongole CamogliPhotos Erica Berman – Seafood Pasta in Italy this summer

Differences between the French and the Italians…

  • Nothing is a problem for the Italians…everything is a problem for the French. I think there are numerous posts to be written on this thought… a suivre!
  • Italians miss pasta and coffee when away from their beloved Italy. The French are hands down pining for bread and cheese when far from home.
Croissant Erica ParisCroissants in Paris
  • The French do not ask personal questions. Italians ask many. The French find asking questions a sign of indiscretion, and they take the utmost pride in being discreet, sometimes to the point of ridiculous (when applying for a job they may not feel comfortable asking the salary).
  • The Italians are curious and their inquiring minds want to know. In elevators in Italy I have had personal conversations on where I’m from and why I’m in Italy with people I have never seen before and will probably never see again. In France a bonsoir or bonjour is possibly all the chatting you will get after years of being neighbors.
  • Italians remember you after seeing you once. The French might, of course, remember you, I am convinced they do, but will do their very best to pretend that they have never seen you before (my corner bakery in Montmartre is in the running for longest possible non recognition of a regular customer – almost 18 years. The bread is so amazing and their complete neutrality so fascinating, I keep on going).
Continue Reading »

Posted in Italy tips & suggestions, Parisian Living, Travel | 50 Comments »

Pastry Hopping: A Sweet Tour Around the Faubourg Saint Antoine

Paris may be the best place in the world to visit if you’ve got a sweet tooth. Blocks lined with patisseries, crèpe stands on street corners, butter-filled pastries for breakfast… Amy Thomas knows some great spots for off-the-radar sweet fixes, and she shares her favorite picks with us here. Happy eating!

Amy Thomas - Cupcakes & CoAmy Thomas

Just as there are many must-know-slash-in-the-know restaurants that pepper the 11th and 12th arrondissements—Bistrot Paul Bert, Le Square Trousseau, La Gazetta, to name a few—there are also some killer sweet spots in this fringy neighborhood straddling le Faubourg Saint Antoine that are too good to be left unmentioned.

Perhaps the most notable is Blé Sucré, which was founded by ex-Bristol patissier Fabrice Le Bourdat. I’ve always wanted to treat myself to one of his sweets, but had previously only had the opportunity to ogle them through the window. But as I primed myself for this sweet tour, I did proper blogosphere research and arrived at the petite patisserie with a shortlist: the pain au chocolat, madeleine and financier. Still, it was a tortuous decision and the staff graciously humored me as I bounced between the rows of chocolate éclairs, raspberry bressons and chaussons aux pommes. Finally, I settled on the madeleine. Sold in packages of four, they’re moist and light; dense with some crispness along the ridge; and, coated with a thin layer of sugar glaçage, super satisfying.

Amy Thomas - MadeleineAmy Thomas

Then it was on to La Ruche à Miel, a North African patisserie/salon de thé on rue d’Aligre. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food | 4 Comments »

Brunch in Montmartre at Le Coquelicot

Guest Blogger Nichole Robertson (of Little Brown Pen fame) discovers one of our favorite bakeries in Montmartre. Make sure to come early to snag one of the outside tables, and enjoy Paris people watching at its best.

breakfastphoto courtesy of Meg Zimbeck

On Saturday, we braved the Amelie obsessed tourists on Rue de Abbesses in Montmartre to visit Coquelicot–a sweet little bakery recommended by Clotilde Dusoulier of Chocolate and Zucchini. I adore Clotilde’s blog and books, and her Paris picks never let me down. She raved about the baguettes at Coquelicot, and her blessing coupled with a glimpse of their charming website, was all we needed to pen a visit into our schedule. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 10 Comments »